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Idahohiker's Passions

Hiking & Camping


Idahohikerwrote a review of on March 11, 2012

4 5

It's heavy, and crinkly...but very tough. I recently slipped and fell on asphault and ice, my North Face ski pants tore, but the Alpha SV was untouched....

Heavier than the Alpha LT, it may also provide slightly more weatherproofing, although both use Goretex Proshell. I find myself bringing the LT along more in the backcountry, and perversely using the SV for alpine skiing.

I don't like the lack of pockets, or the placement of the pockets that do exist...but here again, its a compromise. The lack of pockets make using the jacket with a pack easier, and don't interfere with the hipbelt.

In terms of fit, I'd call it true to size. But, if you are going to use the SV in winter, and may be wearing a thick down or fleece under it with other layers, you need to go up a size. Remember, with the SV you have 3 inches in chest size difference per size. But if you buy a bigger size for spring summer fall, it fits like a gunnysack. You're at $1200 bucks to get two sizes of this beast, so just know what you are getting into here.

Is this jacket worth the obscene price? Probably not. But then again, you pay a lot more for a lot more durability, and of course, the Arc'teryx name. For most 3 season use, it is worth looking hard at the Alpha LT, which saves weight and about $100.





Idahohikerwrote a review of on July 3, 2011

2 5

I bought my Svea for one reason; Colin Fletcher who was my backpacking hero when I was a kid, used one. (Although, even then I preferred my little propane Gerry stove, and eventually lost my Svea). So, for whatever reason I decided to get one.

To be blunt, this stove is heavy, is unstable, performs poorly in wind, takes a long time to boil water, and is very hard to light. Oh, and forget about trying to simmer anything. If you are buying it for efficiency or performance, you would be much better off with an MSR Dragonfly for white gas, or the MSR Reactor for propane. I wish things were different, and that this stove had been somehow upgraded. But it has not.

To be fair, in addition to sentimental value, the stove is durable, and does not require pumping. This internal pressurization is also why it is slow to boil water.

So, I am putting this review out so people know the truth about the stove, and why some of us old-timers might have one. It is a durable, but poorly performing cantankerous stove that is very outdated. But if you want to cook on a piece of backpacking history, go for it.